Ayaat 38-52 ― The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala swears by His creation in which some of His signs can also be seen. He then swears by the hidden things that cannot be seen. This can mean a multiple of things such as we have seen the worldly life but we have no idea what lies after this or how it will be. Similarly, we can see fellow human beings but we cannot see the jinns which are another creation of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We are conscious of the apparent blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but ignorant of the many hidden blessings. Also, we see the world around us today but we do not what was before this, or we see the remains of the perished nations but we cannot see the people who lived there previously. All of these meanings can be implied here.
Ibn Katheer writes this is an oath where Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is swearing that the Qur’an is His Speech, His inspiration and His revelation to His servant and Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whom He chose to convey His message and he carried out this trust faithfully.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “So I swear by whatsoever you see. And by whatsoever you see not,” (69: 38-39). The word laa in the beginning of the ayah implies strong negation. “That this is verily the word of an honored Messenger,” (69: 40) Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gave this description to him, a description which carries the meaning of conveying because the duty of a messenger is to convey from the sender. The term Messenger is also applied for Angel Jibreel [Gabriel] because he too was entrusted with the duty of conveying the revelation and Speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. [Refer Surah at-Takweer ayaat 19-21]
Notice how Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala uses the word kareem to define His Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This means that even if the unbelievers and deniers call him by bad names he is an honorable Messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And when Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala praises a person then what people say does not matter.
One might ask why, “…this is verily the word of an honored Messenger,” (69: 40) was said. The reason is that the people of Makkah were hearing the Qur’an being recited from the tongue of Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam just like he was hearing it from the mouth of Angel Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam. Therefore, we read that a little later it was said, “This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the ‘Alameen,” (69: 43). This proves that the Words that they recite are not their own words but a Message entrusted to them from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Describing the Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala further says, “It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer, little is that you remember!” (69: 41-42).
The Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had lived between his people as an honest and trustworthy man. He was known for his best conduct. There was no one like him. They knew him since before his prophethood then how could they claim him to be a poet or a soothsayer? He had no selfish motive in presenting this Qur’an before the people. Rather he sacrificed all his personal interests, abandoned every ease and comfort, and even endured the insults and abuses of the same people who once venerated him. A person having a selfish motive could not have submitted himself to such tribulations. They had heard the Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam talk and they had heard the Qur’an, there was no comparison between the two speeches. Nothing could match the literary beauty and eloquence of the Qur’an. Therefore, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala asserts, “This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the ‘Alameen,” (69: 43).
Defending the noble status of the Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala continues, “And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us, We surely should have seized him by his right hand,” (69: 44-45). If the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forged something against Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, as the unbelievers claimed, and added or removed anything from the Message, or said anything from himself while attributing it to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala would have surely been swift in punishing him. ‘Seizing with the right hand’ implies grabbing strongly. “And then certainly should have cut off his life artery,” (69: 46) the word wateen [وَتِين] is from the root wau-ta-noon which means ‘to injure in the aorta’. Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that al-wateen refers to the artery of the heart, and it is the vein that is attached to the heart. Muhammad ibn Ka’ab said, “It is the heart, its blood, and whatever is near it. “And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him,” (69: 47) meaning had Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala planned to punish the Messenger none of the other created beings could have prevented it from happening. The meaning behind all of this is to say that Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is truthful, righteous and guided. He has no authority to make any changes in the Revelation. If he did so, he would have been severely punished. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala determined what he is to convey, therefore he was helped with astonishing miracles and definite proofs.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “And verily, this Qur’an is a Reminder for the righteous,” (69: 48). Here, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is also being informed indirectly that his followers will be the righteous ones. Those who do wrong or commit sins are not going to believe in this. Why? It is because, as we studied in the beginning of this Surah, they have been blinded by their ego and arrogance. Their power and authority stops them from doing good. When a person treads on the Right Path, he has to let go of many things and this includes money earned through impermissible means or being selfish and thinking only about one’s self. He will be concerned about his Hereafter and the well-being of the other people. Such is a muttaqi person.
“And verily, We know that there are some among you that belie,” (69: 49) meaning that despite such detailed explanations there will still be some people who will reject the Qur’an. This rejection will be anguish for them on the Day of Judgment, as denoted by the word hasrah in ayah 50. Qur’an is an absolute truth in which there is no doubt, suspicion or confusion. This means that the people do not deny the Qur’an because there is some fault in it rather it is because of their own hypocrisy and lack of correct intention that they do not take any benefit from it.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this Surah by telling us to glorify Him, “So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great,” (69: 52). This was said in order to console the Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that don’t worry about what the people say, your Lord is Glorious and Great. He will take care of you. So praise and glorify Him and seek help from Him.
It is advised that when one comes across such ayaat in the Qur’an where there is an instruction to glorify or it carries praise for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then we should glorify and praise Him. Recite SubhanAllah, alhumdulillah, La illaha il-lAllah, and other adkhar in His praise.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us of those who keep their tongues moist with His remembrance and take benefit from His Words, aameen.
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